Can I Get a Tummy Tuck if Prone to Blood Clots?

10 years ago when I was 17 I developed a blood clot in my right lung. The doctors devolved it with the use of blood thinners. I have not had any issues since. I have a family history of clots as well. I wanted to get a breast lift and a tummy tuck after having a baby. But worried that I would be high risk and will not be able to do it. Will I be eligible for these surgeries with my history of clotting.

Doctor Answers 12

Blood clots and Tummy Tuck

While you will be higher risk than other patients, you may still be eligible to have surgery. You will need to discuss your history with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions on what will be necessary precautions prior to surgery including the probable need for a surgical clearance from a hematologist. You may also want to to do a tummy tuck and breast lift in stages in order to not further increase your risks. Consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to explore your options.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Yes, you can still get a tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question.  Yes, you can still get a tummy tuck but you will likely be higher risk than the average person and special precautions will need to be taken.  A referral to a specialist (hematologist) can be done by your regular doctor to make sure that you don't have an underlying medical condition the causes you to clot.  Discuss this with your plastic surgeon and follow all recommendations.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Risk of blood clots should be discussed

A consultation with a haematologist should be obtained.  You will most likely be put on a blood thinner prior to your surgery.  Risks to consider are: there is still a risk of a blood clot even if precautions are taken, and you may have an increased risk of bleeding during and after surgery.  If after your discussion with your hematologist and your plastic surgeons you feel that these risks are acceptable than you can make the decision to proceed.

(remember there is always a risk of a clot or bleeding and the question is what is your particular risk if all precautions are taken)



Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Tummy tuck with a history of blood clots

Tummy tuck patients are having a significant surgery.  If they have a history of blood clot/clots (pulmonary embolism is what you had, it sounds like) AND a family history of blood clots they should DEFINITELY sit down with their hematologist to discuss risks and perioperative management. The plastic surgeon needs to be in the middle of the whole discussion.  Best of luck to you.

James E. Chappell, MD
Annapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck with a History of Blood Clots?

Based on your past history of having a blood clot in your lung (pulmonary embolus), as well as a family history of clotting, it is very likely that you have some inherited clotting disorder. This would definitely place you in a high risk category for having another blood clot with surgery, particularly a tummy tuck, or with a combined (thus longer) surgical procedure.

Does this mean you can't have a tummy tuck? Not necessarily, but it should only be done in consultation with a hematologist/oncologist. You should have further assessment of your clotting disorder. Most likely you will need to be on anticoagulation medication for a period of time after your surgery. This will increase your risk of having a bleeding complication following your surgery. There are no easy answers here and you will have some increased risks either way.

Braden C. Stridde, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Breast lift and tummy tuck with history of blood clots

I would definitely have you seen by a hematologist, given your history and your family history of blood clots. Specifically, they should be looking for a Liden Factor V deficiency. Addition, you should make sure that you are not smoking or on oral contraceptives , as those will increase your chance of developing blood clots. Bottom line.. Get a hematology consult and clearance and even consider splitting up thesurgery  into two segments. Thanks for your question

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Surgery with history of blood clots

Certainly there is an increase in risk for blood clots in general when performing tummy tucks and with prolonged procedures under general anesthesia. Your history would make surgeons more cautious but not necessarily disqualify you from the surgeries. You will need to coordinate an evaluation and recommendation from your internist and/or hematologist to prepare you for the surgery. On the other hand, anti-coagulation for prevention of blood clots might increase your risk of bleeding in certain surgeries. 

Careful consultation between specialist is imperative.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Blood clots and tummy tuck

The correct physician to whom these inquiries should be directed is a board certified hematologist/oncologist. I would not operate on a patient without a complete medical history and hematology clearance. If you are not on blood thinning medication, it would be important to understand the etiology of the clot and your family history in detail far greater than what you have presented in your question It is impossible to speak specifically about risks without this information and generaliation is not of value to your individual situation.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Tummy Tuck if Prone to Blood Clots

Best to be operated upon in an in hospital setting with your hem/onc available if there are any issues. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Mommy makeover and blood clots.


There are some very important things to consider when deciding on any surgery particularly with a history of prior blood clots.  The first step is to assess your risk.  Your plastic surgeon and your hematologist (blood doctor) can work on this to determine what are your genetic risks, the medical steps that can reduce this as well as the surgical steps that could impact the safety of undergoing elective surgery.  If your hematologist deems that your current risks are elevated but not severe you may entertain the idea of plastic surgery but with certain very careful decisions.  Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are in part aided by dehydration, immobility, certain medications, and by your genetic factors.  Since you cannot change your genes you must address the other factors.

First, you must minimize the length of your surgery.  I would recommend only undergoing one procedure as opposed to both a breast surgery and a tummy tuck.  You should consider undergoing your breast surgery first as this would also impact your immobility less after surgery.  You should be pre-medicated with certain blood thinner medications such Lovenox, and you may want to consider not being on any contraceptive medications as some of these may increase the blood clotting possibility. Make sure you choose the right plastic surgeon and design a plan that efficiently accomplishes your surgical goal in the least amount of time.  In the operating room you should wear compression stockings as well as sequential compression pumps on your legs.


All the best,


Dr Remus Repta


Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.